How Vision Group used its awards win to expand its network

29 October 2019

Vision Group turned the 2018 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards into a real celebration for the entire staff – especially when they took home the Lloyds Bank Exporter of the Year Award.


We caught up with Vision Group to find out what the team enjoyed about the ceremony last year, and how the business has moved on since then.

Q. What initially made you want to enter the National Business Awards?

A. We wanted validation and recognition in the wider business community of Vision Support Services and what we are capable of.

It's great to benchmark our capabilities against firms outside of our own industry and get a feel of where we are and what we can learn from the other organisations involved.

Q. What specifically drew you to your category?

A. Although Vision has its roots in the UK textile market, our primary customer base has expanded its footprint. Making sure we can service the global hospitality and retail brands has shaped how and where we trade.  

We recognised that our opportunity to grow had to be driven through export markets. The operations and logistics team have constructed one of the best supply chains in our field, with global capability. The award is testament to the hard work of the entire Vision team as well as offering validation and a benchmark on how we are doing.

Q. We're approaching the awards night in November – can you tell us a bit about the ceremony last year?

A. The Awards night was a fantastic opportunity to boost employee morale, cement our company culture and provide a hard-earned night off to some deserving staff members! We just wish we could have invited everyone!

We invited staff members from across the company; not just senior directors; those who go above and beyond each day to provide the service that Vision is now known for. There was a real buzz and excitement in the days leading up to the ceremony and on the night, the atmosphere was electric!

Our staff had fun in the photo booths memorialising the night, we were able to view some stunning pieces of art and the opportunity to bid in a silent auction and we were able to get customisable luggage tags which have proved invaluable to our field sales staff, who spend most of their time meeting with customers outside of the office.

The food and drink was delicious and to top it all off – we won which made for an even better night all-round. As an added bonus, we heard an immensely engaging talk from Joanna Lumley OBE and Naga Munchetty did a fantastic job as host.

Q. How has business been since your win?

A. Our international business has grown exponentially. We have new distribution agreements in place giving us truly global coverage.  Our tender completion and success in recent months into international markets has doubled year-on-year.

Our UK market has lagged this year and remains relatively flat, but with Brexit and all the uncertainty surrounding the UK's future; this has been expected as our customers have scaled back on their UK investments. Our European hospitality market has seen double digit growth and we are on the cusp of triple digits in the Asia Pacific region and greater China.

Q. Are there any major achievements or product launches you'd like to share?

A. Our presence and performance in the global marketplace must have caught the eye of the WestPoint Home Group.

WestPoint Home is a leader in the American textile sector in the supply of fashion and home textiles to prominent retailers such as Ralph Lauren and JC Penney. Like Vision, it's backed by over 200 years of manufacturing heritage with the brand being traced back to 1813.

So much so, that we were to delighted to announce that WestPoint Home had acquired Vision Support Services earlier in the year and we are currently integrating the best that both textile organisations have to offer.

WestPoint Homes' intention is to focus on their inbound USA business, allowing Vision to accelerate its international presence.

Q. Do you have any words of advice for this year's finalists?

A. Use the opportunity to showcase your company profile.

Do not just aim for a trophy for the boardroom, use the accolade to springboard your network and presence. The network created through the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards is far larger than you may think.

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards ceremony takes place 12th November at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Join this year's finalists, sponsors, judges and Britain's business leaders for an unparalleled networking experience at a glamorous black-tie gala, where you'll hear from astronaut Major Tim Peake in an unforgettable keynote speech.